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Glen Helen, NT

Gol Gol, NSW

pods

seeds

seedling

Natural populations

Acacia victoriae is a widespread species that occurs from the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Murchison region of Western Australia, east through central Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria to subcoastal Queensland (e.g., near Townsville), south to the Adelaide area in the South Australia, the Sunset Desert region in Victoria and the Western Plains of New South Wales [1,2]. This species is most commonly found on depositional landforms such as floodplains or alluvial flats, but also grows on rocky hillsides and ridges (e.g. in South Australia) [3,4]. It favours soils that are often alkaline and include clayey alluvials, grey cracking clays and saline loams [1]. Two subspecies were recently recognised [5].

Flowering and seeds

Acacia victoriae flowers during August–December across a wide latitudinal gradient, with occurring later in southern parts of its range [1]. Mature pods are present mainly during November–December but may be earlier or later depending on the site [6]. There are about 24 viable seeds per gram. Nicking or boiling the seeds in water for 1-2 minutes at 100°C is required to promote germination. The seeds start to germinate in about 3 days if grown at 25°C [6].

Cultivation and uses

Acacia victoriae is nitrogen fixing, shrub or small tree, best suited to arid and semi-arid climates. It is adapted to a range of soil types, including alkaline soils and cracking clays and is moderately salt tolerant [7,8]. It has been successfully used to remediate mine sites. Acacia victoriae has potential as a source of fuelwood and charcoal although on some sites its has shown relatively slow growth [7]. The phyllodes of A. victoriae have moderate palatability and digestibility and have potential as a source of stock fodder [2]. The seeds of A. victoriae were ground up and used to make a traditional damper by Australian Aborigines. More recently it has become an important species for the bushtucker industry in Australia where the flour made from its seed is incorporated into foods such as pasta and sources [9].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall (mm): 100-1000 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer or uniform
Mean annual temperature: 15-28 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 35-39 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 5-10 °C
Frosts per year: frost free or more or less frost free, up to or greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 50-750 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant or known to be tolerant of protracted droughts
Fire: regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: known or has attributes to make an excellent windbreak
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, cracking clays, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5), neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: well-drained or poorly to imperfectly drained
Salinity: highly saline, slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity or alkalinity
Extremes in texture: cracking clay, clayey or sand
Salinity: moderate (-8 dS m-1) or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils or drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall or with multi-stems from or near ground level
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: moderate to slow
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding
Root system: moderate to deep, fixes nitrogen via root symbiot, forms root suckers
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
Windbreak potential: excellent (known or has good attributes)
Shade tolerance: grows best in full sunlight
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate
Uses
Potential farm use: shelterbelt, shade for stock, foliage has stock fodder potential
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture, gums, resins, seeds are edible (used traditionally by Aborigines)
Traditional Aboriginal uses: gum or resin (eaten or for adhesives), implements/artefacts, seeds/fruits eaten or weapons
Urban use: suitable as a screen or hedge
Wildlife value: a critical food source for at least one species
Wood products: high quality fuelwood, wood composites, wood wool/wood cement
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: variable - some plants coppice back or killed by severe fires (seeder)
Growth habit: mod. to strong propensity to root sucker
Foliage: highly susceptible to browsing by animals, low to moderate susceptibility to browsing
Weediness: high potential based on its biology

References

[1] Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnson RD, Kleinig DA, McDonald MW, Turner JD (2006) Forest Trees of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

[2] Doran JC, Turnbull JW (eds.) (1997) Australian Trees and Shrubs: species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra [ACIAR books online: http://www.aciar.gov.au/publication/MN024]

[3] Cunningham GM, Mulham WE, Milthorpe PL, Leigh JH (1992) Plants of Western New South Wales, Inkata Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria.

[4] Whibley DJE, Symon DE (1992) Acacias of South Australia. South Australian Govt Printer, Adelaide.

[5] Ariati SR, Murphy DJ, Gardner S & Ladiges PY (2007) Morphological and genetic variation within the widespread species Acacia victoriae (Mimosaceae). Australian Systematic Botany 20: 61

[6] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at http://www.ensisjv.com/Portals/0/atsc-opmanualcomplete.pdf  Accessed March 2008]

[7] Marcar NE, Crawford DF (2004) Trees for Saline Landscapes. RIRDC Publication Number 03/108, Canberra.

[8] Maslin BR, McDonald MW (2004) AcaciaSearch-evaluation of Acacia as a woody crop option for southern Australia. Rural Industries Research Development Corporation Publication No. 03/017, Canberra.

[9] Maslin BR, Thomson LAJ, McDonald MW, Hamilton-Brown S. (1998) Edible Wattle Seeds of Southern Australia. A review of species for use in semi-arid regions. (CSIRO-CALM: Canberra).

Internet links

Australian Plant Name Index: http://www.cpbr.gov.au/cgi-bin/apni

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Acacia~mearnsii

World Wide Wattle: http://www.worldwidewattle.com/infogallery/utilisation/acaciasearch/pdf/victoriae.pdf

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